Lena Dunham's Bloody Butt Instagram & the Plight of Posting Female Curves
Ah, Instagram — a place to document and share our adorable cats, our photogenic meals, various injuries to our intimate areas. Oh, wait — that last one seems out of place, you say? Well, maybe that's just Lena Dunham, then. Indeed, on Wednesday night, Dunham Instagrammed her bloody, underwear-clad behind — and no, "bloody" here is not an emphatic Britishism — with the caption, "My dog bit me on the ass and Jemima Kirke captured the image of a life time #hopelessromantic #therewillbeblood." The "romantic" tag here refers to the underwear in question, which bears the phrase in flourishing script; Jemima Kirke is, of course, Dunham's Girls co-star, a.k.a., Jessa; and as to "There Will Be Blood," well, it's not just a blithe reference to a Daniel Day-Lewis film.
Of course, if anyone were going to post so blatant a butt pic — I patently refuse the term "belfie" — it would be Dunham, who has made a name for herself with this kind of self-exposure. (Insert all nudity-related "bit her in the ass" jokes here.) Her SNL "Garden of Eden"-style parody of Girls lampooned precisely this pantsless tendency, and offscreen, she's been equally vocal about her right to bear gams. A personal favorite moment: at 2012's New Yorker Festival, when she trampled her fashion critics by pointing out that Olivia Wilde never would receive such scoffing "no-pants attention" for wearing short shorts, finishing off with the rallying cry of "Get used to it because I am going to live to be 100, and I am going to show my thighs every day till I die." Which, hey, in all seriousness, you go girl.
Still, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I might raise an eyebrow even at Olivia Wilde if she posted a blood-stained butt shot. It's not just that it's "TMI"; it's like a cringe-worthy piece from a college art show (likely title: "Modern Love"). I mean, it's a wacky image, sure, one well worth snapping — but perhaps more fit for a group text between friends than a 900,000-plus followed camera roll.
Meanwhile, in all of this online bum-itude, I can't help but recall the plight of Meghan Tonjes, a plus-size singer/blogger who posted her own rather demure derriere shot to Instagram, only to have it removed by censors. Following significant protest from social media, Instagram recanted and restored the photo on Monday, but their disapproval of a slightly fleshier behind can't help but reek of the same prejudicial "no-pants attention" against which Dunham railed — especially when so many more revealing posts from Nicki Minaj, Sofia Vergara, and Kim Kardashian have gone undisturbed.
True, Dunham's post has yet to be taken down — but the fact remains that, while we may at long last have accepted her tendency to show off her assets, it would be great if she were then truly a gateway to media acceptance of varied body types, not merely our lone "100 years of thighs" exception.
Also, seriously dude, someone had better tell that dog to chill out — because ultimately, if there's one concrete takeaway from that picture, it's "ouch."